Endemic to north central and coastal North Carolina; specifically the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico River basins.
This aquatic species prefers moving water with a flow rate >10 cm/s, a width >15 meters, a depth >1 meter, and hard clay or soil substrate at the bottom. It also prefers an abundance of rotting leaf litter, rocky crevices and overhangs, and abandoned burrows for hiding. It is only found in the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico Rivers.
This aquatic salamander reaches 16-28 cm in total length. It has a large, wide, flattened head, stout body, scrawny legs, laterally compressed tail, and bushy dark red external gills. Its body is brown with medium-sized black spots all over, and lateral black streaks on the sides of the face. It has tiny, laterally positioned eyes.
Learn more with Schechter Natural History's Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians